Young Frankenstein: Abridged

                             YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                    "GENE WILDER, LORD HOW WE MISS YOU TO PIECES"
                            A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod






            SCENE: LOBBY OF THE HILTON THEATRE, THE SHITTIEST BARN YOU
            COULD CHOOSE FOR A COMEDY.


                                   Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan, and Susan
                                   Stroman are sitting around a table.


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            Despite the fact that it went out with a whimper, 
            further deadened by my why-can't-I-figure-out-how-to-operate
            a-frickin'-camera movie version, 
            "THE PRODUCERS" remains one of the best-reviewed musicals of
            recent history.  So have you guys considered doing another
            musical?


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Mel's already written a perfect movie with a standard musical
            comedy ready plot and larger-than life characters.


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            Which movie?


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Well isn't it obvious that the best candidate for
            musicalization is--


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Young Frankenstein.


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            --Robin Hood, Men in Tights.  Wait, what?


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Young Frankenstein!


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Young Frankenstein doesn't naturally sing!  And Men in Tights
            already has 4 songs in it, and is coherent with a sensible
            plot arc--


                                   MEL BROOKS
            How many Tony Awards do YOU have?


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Are we counting just "Best Book", or also "Best Musica--


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Cause I have nintey-bajillion.


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            That's not a real number.


                                   MEL BROOKS
            YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN THE MUSICAL.  Foot's down.


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Actually, that might work!  
            You know how THE PRODUCERS was a parody of Golden Age
            musicals?  We make this one a parody of big 80s British Mega
            Imports!  
            We just need a person who has the musical ability to write
            dark, overly-brooding music.  Someone who can 
            "out-Frank-Wildhorn" Frank Wildhorn.  Hmm.


                                   MEL BROOKS
                          (not paying attention)
            What are you doing?


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Trying to figure out who can write a Horror-Movie score.


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Why?


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Because we need to have a composer who...


                                   MEL BROOKS
                          (grins)


                                   CO-WRITER THOMAS MEEHAN
            Oh no.  In the holy name of Irving Berlin...


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Has anybody seen my tape recorder?  I feel a bouncy-yet
            forgettable song coming...






            SCENE: MEL BROOKS' EGO, ONSTAGE, IN THE FLESH.


                                   Chorus enters. 


                                   Not make-up'd and costume'd like
                                   they're in black and white or anything,
                                   of course.  Because that would mean we
                                   still give a shit about sending up
                                   universal's monster movies.


                                   CHORUS
                          (singing)
            WE'RE THE HAPPIEST TOWN IN TOWN
            THE HAPPIEST TOWN IN TOWN!
            THIS IS THE PRODUCERS'S OPENING NUMBER
            DEVOID OF ANY JOKES
            CAUSE WE'RE THE HAPPIEST TOWN IN TOWN!


                                   VILLIAGE IDIOT CHARACTER
            What does "The Happiest Town in Town" mean?


                                   CHORUS
            It's a joke.


                                   VILLIAGE IDIOT CHARACTER
            What's the joke?


                                   CHORUS
            $450 is *always* the joke!


                                   VILLIAGE IDIOT CHARACTER
                          (utters a few unbearable one
                           liners)


                                   AUDIENCE
            Wow.  It must be really difficult to make a village idiot
            character FUNNY.






            SCENE: DR. FRANKENSTEIN'S UNIVERSITY.


                                   Enter NOT GENE WILDER.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugging)
            And that is today's lesson, students.  Any questions?


                                   STUDENT
            Mr. Bart, I understand that your forbearer reanimated the
            dead.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugging)
            It can't be done!  The brain tells us that once something has
            been put peacefully to rest, you cannot revive it.  


                                   STUDENT
            And yet here you are, playing the Gene Wilder role.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (singing, mugging)
            THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A BRAIN
            A BRAIN TELLS YOU THAT YOU CAN DO A HALF-ASSED ADAPTATION
            AND YES, A BRAIN REALIZES THAT I AM ACTUALLY A TALENTED
            COMEDIC ACTOR IN MY OWN RIGHT
            BUT IF A BRAIN CONVINCES YOU THAT YOU CAN PUT ME
            IN A ROLE PERFORMED SO WONDERFULLY BY GENE WILDER
            AND GET AWAY WITH IT
            YOU MUST NOT HAVE...
            A BRAIN!


                                   RAUL ESPARZA, 
                                   NORBERT LEO BUTZ, 
                                   BRIAN D'ARCY JAMES, 
                                   EDDIE IZZARD 
                                   AND... UMM... HELL, 
                                   ROSIE O' DONNELL
            Come one!  AT least ONE of us had to have had free time in
            our schedule!


                                   ROGER BART
                          (speaking, mugging)
            Now let me demonstrate how the Brain works.  In the original
            movie, Gene Wilder took this patient...
                          (stands up a patient)
            And kicked him in the balls, like THIS!


                                   He does so.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugging)
            Notice that when Gene Wilder did it, he was so otherwise
            serious that the change in behavior came as a shock to you.
            But as you can see from my incessant mugging...
                          (mugs)
                          (dramatic pause)
                          (mugs again)
            NOBODY IS LAUGHING!


                                   "Students" rise and applaud wildly.


                                   MEL BROOKS
            On the nights that there aren't enough tourists to create a
            standing ovation,
                          (watches the applauding
                           "students")
            I just think back to this point in the show and pretend...






            SCENE: IN FRONT OF A SHIP OF SOME SORT.


                                   Enter Megan Mullally.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugs)
            Darling I'm off to Transylvania.  Kiss?


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
            Please, the lipstick the lipstick darling.
            Also the hair.
            And the nails.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (chuckles to self, mugs)
            Ah yes, that was quite a funny joke from the movie that the
            audience laughed at even before it came.  Well, goodbye.


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
                          (singing)
            ALSO DON'T TOUCH MY MASCARA, AND MY EYESHADOW,


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugging)
            Um...


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
                          (singing/dragging it out)
            AND DON'T TOUCH MY EYELINER
            AND DON'T TOUCH MY CONTACT LENSES


                                   The cast spurts out into 
                                   the obligatory Susan Stroman 
                                   low-motivation high-concept 
                                   dance routine.


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            Look, they're all waltzing, but they're NOT TOUCHING EACH
            OTHER!  Oh wait, I think I forgot to give them their Susan
            Stroman props this time.


                                   CHORUS
                          (singing)
            IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME
            TO MISS THE OLD LADIES
            AND THEIR TAPPING WALKERS
            NOW IS IT!


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
                          (still singing, even the joke
                           ended some time ago)
                          (like 1974)
            AND DON'T TOUCH MY TEETH, AND DON'T TOUCH MY...
            TITS!
            TITS!
            IT IS FUNNY BECAUSE I SAID THE WORDS TITS!


                                   Well to be fair, Megan Mullally gets +5
                                   points for not acting like Karen from
                                   Will and Grace.






            SCENE: TRANSYLVANIA TRAIN STATION.


                                   Enter some salvation:


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            Hey Roger!


                                   ROGER BART
            Hey Christopher!  Let's waste your talent with a song!


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            I can't think of a song that would move the plot here.


                                   ROGER BART
            That's okay, let's just sing a buddy song!


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            But we just met--


                                   ROGER BART
            LIKE ABBOT AND COSTELLO
            LIKE SONNY AND CHER
            LIKE MARTIN AND LEWIS
            WE'RE THE PERFECT PAIR!


                                   The song continues on like this,
                                   neither moving the plot nor being
                                   humorous.  Nor being entertaining.


                                   AUDIENCE
                          (mind wandering)
            Why aren't the songs funny?
            Mel Brooks is a funny lyricist.
            The songs in The Producers were funny!


                                   AUDIENCE'S INTERNAL
                                   MONOLOGUE'S ANTAGONIST
            Were they really?  Name some.


                                   AUDIENCE
            Well, there was... 
            "King of Broadway" was funny.


                                   AUDIENCE'S INTERNAL
                                   MONOLOGUE'S ANTAGONIST
            No, the spoken one-liners in the middle were funny.  
            Name a song from Producers that had funny *lyrics*. 


                                   AUDIENCE
            "Springtime for Hitler".


                                   AUDIENCE'S INTERNAL
                                   MONOLOGUE'S ANTAGONIST
                          (ruining "The Producers" for
                           you in retrospect)
            OK.  And?


                                   AUDIENCE
            And... and that's it.
            And oh god I may very well be watching a real-life
            "Springtime for Hitler".


                                   ROGER BART AND 
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD
                          (shouted while grimacing at the
                           audience)
            WHAT HUMP?!?!?!?!?


                                   A pregnant pause for laughter.


                                   ROGER BART AND 
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD
                          (real actual terrible lyrics)
            Like Ginger and Freddy
            McDonald and Eddie
            Like San Juan and Teddy
                          (at the point that, musically,
                           there should have been a
                           joke:)
            Like meatballs and spaghetti!


                                   Enter Sutton Foster, kinda doing an
                                   "Ulla" impression from The Producers.


                                   AUDIENCE
            No, no, please don't taint Sutton Foster.


                                   Foster and Bart get into a hay wagon.


                                   The scenery moves and two dancers in
                                   costumes play the "horses" pulling the
                                   wagon, while a projected effect makes
                                   it look like they're MOVING.


                                   It looks AWESOME ENOUGH to renew your
                                   HOPE in this musical for another
                                   fifteen minutes.


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
                          (yodels, is very funny)


                                   ROGER BART
                          (being humped by Sutton Foster
                           in the "Reverse Frog Squat"
                           position)
            Well, I guess I now understand how I got this part over
            Hunter Foster.






            SCENE: WHAT IS THIS?  ARE WE ACTUALLY SEEING OUR MONEY UP ON
            THE STAGE?!!!!


                                   ROGER BART
                          (asleep, tossing and turning)
                          (and mugging)
            No, no, no!


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Wake up! 


                                   ROGER BART
                          (wakes up)
                          (mugs)
            I dreamt that a Russian dancing troupe was using stupid
            dancing and a crappy Frankenstein Marionette to convince me
            to build a monster via Mel Brook's second Fiddler parody!


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Wow, some nightmare!  BEtter not use it for actual character
            transformation or anything.


                                   A violin plays.


                                   ROGER BART
            Do you hear that noise?


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            It sounds like... like...


                                   ROGER BART
            Like the sort of melancholy music this show should have had?


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            YES!  Let's go follow it!


                                   They do, and find themselves running
                                   into Andrea Martin with a violin.


                                   ROGER BART
            Gasp, Andrea Martin, that can't be your music!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            Because, I *stole* it!


                                   ROGER BART
            From who?


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            From John Morris!


                                   REST OF CAST
            No!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            Who scored the original film!


                                   REST OF CAST
            No!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            AND SHOULD HAVE SCORED THIS AS WELL!


                                   She sings a Marlene Dietrich ripoff
                                   while doing a chair dance and, for the
                                   first time in the show, the musical
                                   tone actually makes sense!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
                          (effortlessly and slinging out
                           single-entendres)
            Ovaltine!  Starbucks!  Erections!  Bach!  Balls!


                                   ROGER BART
            Andrea Martin, the jokes are so much funnier when you say
            them.  Perhaps Mel Brooks's problem is that Nathan Lane could
            deliver an entire show consisting of one-liners and make it
            work.  Maybe they should have just crafted the entire show
            around you and your ability to spout one-liners.


                                   NATHAN LANE
                          (from balcony, because Mel
                           Brooks wouldn't comp him an
                           orchestra seat)
            Dammit, everybody wants to be Nathan Lane!






            SCENE: LABORATORY.


                                   Roger Bart performs a wonderful little
                                   ditty called "SUNG BOOK".


                                   ROGER BART
            The creature is alive.  Alive!


                                   Shuler Hensley rises from the dead and
                                   reanimates!


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            Hey, what happened to the "Yummy" scene?


                                   ROGER BART
            What?


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            The scene where we're eating dinner, and the creature grunts,
            and you insist that I made a "yummy noise"?


                                   ROGER BART
            For me to get the words "yummy noise" to be funny, I would
            have had to play this character like the serious, straight
            man that Gene Wilder played it as.


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            And?


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugs)
                          (mugs)
                          (mugs)
                          (mugs)
                          (mugs)


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            I won't even ask about you not stabbing yourself with a
            scalpel.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugs some more!)


                                   SHULER HENSLEY
            Wait, I'm the one in green makeup and platform shoes, and yet
            *I'm* the only straight man?






            SCENE: MEL BROOKS HIRED A CHORUS, REMEMBER?


                                   CHORUS
            We suspect that you have a monster inside your house.


                                   ROGER BART & CO.
            We'll distract you by singing a song that is about FIVE
            PERCENT AS FUN AS THE MONSTER MASH!


                                   They perform a rejected Thoroughly
                                   Modern Millie number???


                                   CHORUS
            You did *not* just stop the plot for that.


                                   THE SUPERBLY TALENTED
                                   CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, ESQ.
            You did *not* just call it a "plot".






            SCENE: THE MONSTER HAS ESCAPED OR SOMETHING.


                                   ROGER BART
            Well if the monster escaped, then we should go find him!


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            No, let's stay here and,
                          (singing)
            LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
            LISTEN TO YOUR HEART...
            Holy crap Mel Brooks wrote a worse love song than "That
            Face".


                                   MEL BROOKS
            You're wrong!
                          (actual words he said in 
                           an NBC Nightly News Interview:)
            There's sighs.  You can hear the audience sigh like a wave:
            "ahhh", when you do.  I wrote a song called "Flush your brain
            right down the drain and listen to your heart."  It's... 
            Inga--the beautiful Nurse, played by the incredible Sutton
            Foster--sings to Roger Bart, the Doctor.  And I can hear
            sighs in the middle of the song, just a wave of sighs and
            it's just, it's better than chicken soup, and you can't beat
            it.


                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Wow Mel, you just might be deluded!  
            Nobody's going to "sigh" at a song whose purpose is
            to get us to fuck.






            SCENE: MEGAN MULLALLY IS IN THIS MUSICAL, REMEMBER?


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
            Hey, it's me, I'm back!  And with me are Sasha, Masha, Basha,
            Tasha, and Bob.


                                   Akward silence.


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            So that was basically your sorry version of the gay
            Choreographer/Costumer/Lighting Designer thing from The
            Producers, wasn't it.


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
            It was different; this one didn't have a joke!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            Ah.


                                   Megan Mullally loses 7 points for not
                                   being Madeline Kahn.  


                                   Total score so far on the 
                                   Mullally-o-Meter: -2.






            SCENE: REMEMBER YOUR FAVORITE SCENE IN THE MOVIE?  GUESS HOW
            LONG WE CAN STRETCH IT OUT!


                                   Shuler Hensley visits the old hermit.


                                   OLD HERMIT
                          (sings for a few minutes)


                                   SHULER HENSLEY 
                                   AND OLD HERMIT
                          (perform the scene almost
                           verbatim from the movie)


                                   OLD HERMIT
                          (sings for another minute)


                                   ERIC IDLE, 
                                   CREATOR OF SPAMALOT
            Let me get this straight Mel.  You wrote "The Producers".


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Yes.


                                   ERIC IDLE, 
                                   CREATOR OF SPAMALOT
            Then, as I've mentioned on my blog many times, I was inspired
            by "The Producers" to make the inferior "Spamalot".


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Yes.


                                   ERIC IDLE, 
                                   CREATOR OF SPAMALOT
            Then you, inspired my method of basically taking each joke
            from the movie and turning it into a 5 minute song, you made
            this musical.


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Yes.


                                   ERIC IDLE, 
                                   CREATOR OF SPAMALOT
            It's fun to be rich, isn't it?


                                   MEL BROOKS
            Yes!






            SCENE: PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ.


                                   ROGER BART
            And now, me and the monster will sing Puttin' on the Ritz. 
            Let it be known that if a video of this number ever leaked to
            YouTube, nobody would ever feel it necessary to actually see
            this show.


                                   SHULER HENSLEY
                          (grunts in agreement)


                                   They do the song.  


                                   IRVING BERLIN
                          (pounding on walls of his
                           coffin)
            It's a damn good thing I'm dead, because if I were alive to
            watch my song be surrounded by countless shitty Mel Brooks
            specialty numbers, I'd rip that Jew a new hole!


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            We have to add fifteen minutes to the runtime; some audience
            members are paying $3 a minute for this!
            So you, dozen guys wearing platform shoes, dance along with
            them!


                                   They do.


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            Now the rest of the lead characters, you tap too for no good
            reason!


                                   They do.


                                   DIRECTOR SUSAN STROMAN
            Now... Um...
            Well, you can tell I'm losing my touch because I'VE RUN OUT
            OF IDEAS FOR HOW TO RUN THIS JOKE INTO THE GROUND.






            SCENE: THE CREATURE ESCAPES AGAIN.


                                   Yes, again.  It was necessary when
                                   convoluting this plot to have the
                                   creature escape TWO SEPARATE TIMES in
                                   order to bring in any dramatic tension
                                   whatsoever.


                                   I hear tale that some people are
                                   accomplishing this with something known
                                   as a "plot arc".


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
            No, Shuler Hensley, don't rape me like the way this show just
            did to "PUTTING ON THE RITZ"!


                                   He does... 
                                   Apparently RAPE = FUNNY.


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
                          (singing)
            OH SWEET LOVE OF LIFE AT LAST I'VE FOUND YOU--


                                   MEL BROOKS
            No, that's not what I wrote!  Too subtle!


                                   MEGAN MULLALLY
            Fine.
                          (singing)
            FINALLY I FOUND DEEP LOVE
            LOVE THAT HAS IS DEEP
            LOVE THAT IS LONG
            LOVE THAT IS THICK
            LOVE THAT IS IN THE LITERAL SHAPE OF A PENIS...
                          (pause, sighs)
            Come on Mel, throw me a bone!


                                   MEL BROOKS
            A bone?  Oooh, that one works too!
                          (sings into tape recorder)


                                   Megan Mullally gets +5 sympathy points
                                   for having the three worst songs in the
                                   show.


                                   (Final Mullally-o-Meter score: +3.
                                    Good for you, Megan Mullally!)






            SCENE: DENOUEMENT.


                                   CHORUS
            We are angry at you for mugging too much, Roger Bart, and so
            we will kill you!
                          (they do)


                                   ROGER BART
            I am dying!
                          (does some more "wacky" crap,
                           then "dies")


                                   SHULER HENSLEY
                          (possibly the only one who
                           understands that you have to
                           take comedy as serious as
                           drama)
            No, you killed my master!  But that's okay, because somehow
            or another I apparently know how to CANCEL OUT DEATH or
            something.


                                   He does, and is apparently a good
                                   enough actor to make the horribly
                                   cheesy ending work.  


                                   SHULER HENSLEY
            See?  Sometimes it's funny to NOT WINK AT THE AUDIENCE THIRTY
            TIMES A SECOND!


                                   The show's wrapping up about now:


                                   CHARACTERS WHO END UP
                                   ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED
            I love you, character I ended up with romantically and half
            assedly!


                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            I have a "blind date"!  With the Blind Guy!  Get it? 
            Ahahahahah...	
                          (sighs)
            This is my final joke for the evening; sad no?


                                   DRACULA
            Hi, Roger Bart, I've come by to ask if you want to sell me
            your house.


                                   ROGER BART
                          (mugs)
            Oh good, Dracula!  So, what hysterical Dracula jokes are you
            going to tell?


                                   DRACULA
            Um...
            Um...
            LOOK IS THAT A MEL BROOKS POST-CURTAIN GOODBYE SONG?


                                   Chorus comes out and the finale,
                                   hinting at what may be the next movie
                                   he musicalizes...


                                   AUDIENCE
            Oh god please don't destroy Blazing Saddles...


                                        VERY DEPRESSING BROWN-OUT.

Classic Broadway Abridged Scripts


RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Review: Quidam
There is a joke about every Disney theme park ride in the world being the same thing over and…
Blue Man Group: Revisited
"Is there anything I need to know about Blue Man Group going in?"How do you even describe Blue Man Group?…
Macbeth on Broadway
Alan Cumming is back on Broadway doing a limited run of his tour-de-force almost-one-man Macbeth, and it is a must-see. …
Les Miserables The Movie: Abridged
"Papa, Mister Hooper's camera is getting awfully close. ""Yes Cosette, that's called a 'bad touch'."…

ITBA

BROADWAY ABRIDGED LIVE! (THE CD)


Volume 1: Even More Musicals comedy album available for sale on iTunes/Amazon.